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David S. Clark - The Message From Patmos: A Postmillennial Commentary on the Book of Revelation (1921) "This early twentieth-century Postmillennial commentary on the Book of Revelation, written by the father of theologian Gordon Clark, offers an easy-to-read alternative to the popular Pre-millennial/Dispensational views of the best-selling Scofield Reference Bible and a multitude of other dissertations on end-time prophecy that litter the shelves of Christian bookstores. "



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HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
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Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
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Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
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E.B. Elliott
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Charles Homer Giblin
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William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
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Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
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G.A. Henty
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William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
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Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
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William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

Defense of the Orthodox View of the Second Coming of Christ

In Response to the Teachings of Full Preterism

By Rev. Mitchell Dick - Grace Protestant Reformed Church
December 11, 2003

"But if FP is arbitrary and prejudiced in its interpretation, it also falls prey to the criticism of being arbitrary and also inconsistent and in its hermeneutic."

Full preterism (FP) is the teaching that the second coming of Jesus is past. Jesus came, according to FP, in 70 A.D. in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies. Everything which Scripture teaches accompanies Christ's second coming has, according to FP, already been fulfilled. Shall there be a resurrection of the body-of yours, mine, or anyone else's? No, according to FP, this occurred in 70 A.D. Shall there be a general and universal judgment? No, this occurred in 70 A.D. Shall there be, in the future, the creation of a new heavens and new earth? No, says FP, the destruction of Jerusalem was the beginning of this new creation. And it is now.

The following is an examination of the claims of FP. It is written with some in mind whom, I fear, have been looking at Scripture lately entirely through FP eyes. It is a few observations, exegetical and doctrinal made by a pastor. This pastor, in the love of Christ, writes to persuade some to look at Scripture again through classic Christianity's creedal eyes. These "eyes", I do firmly believe, though never perfect, have been given clear sight by the Father in heaven, of the fundamentals of the faith once delivered to all saints (Jude 3).

So that we can believe and hope, together with the one faith and hope of the Church of all ages (Ephesians 4: 1-6) in what has ever been the one and only blessed hope of true, and always hope-full believers-the glorious future appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2: 13), may God bless this presentation, and our discussion of it.

My examination will proceed along three lines. First, I would set forth the truth of the concept and creation in Scripture called "the new heavens and earth." Second, I would speak to the matter of what in Scripture is called "the coming of the Lord." Third, I would reflect upon the importance of this matter of eschatology for our faith, life, love, and hope.

I. The New Heavens and Earth

The concept and creation of a "new heavens and earth" is mentioned in passages such as Isaiah 65: 17-25; 66 :22- 24; II Peter 3; and Revelation 21. I would make two main points about this "new heavens and new earth." First, that it is the creation of a perfected cosmos. Second, that is place of the glorified eternal life of the believers in Jesus Christ.

A. Perfected Cosmos

As to the first: the new heavens and earth is the creation of a perfected cosmos, we consider first of all the fact that this new heavens and earth is indeed a place of cosmic, or universal scope. FP contends that the passing away of the heavens and the earth and the creation of the new is the passing away, simply and entirely, of ''the Old covenant world of Old Israel" "in order to create the New World" of the Church of Jesus Christ (cf. Don K. Preston art. "How Heaven and Earth Passed Away," p. 11). But this perception and indeed severe narrowing of the concept "new heavens and earth" finds no basis in Scripture.

By no stretch of sound biblical exegesis can the concept "new heavens and earth" in Scripture refer to anything less than an entirely new creation. The Hebrew scholar Girdlestone, commenting on the use of the Hebrew word for earth (Eretz), mentions in his book Synonyms of the OT, p.262, that "when the earth is spoken of in connection with heaven (as in Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 49:13, and 65:17), it must have the larger meaning" (That is: it must refer not to a special territory, but to the whole world, MD). And when speaking of the Hebrew word Shamaim (heavens), Girdlestone (pp265, 267) speaks of different referents such as the atmosphere, or the starry heavens-but never once does he mention that the Hebrew concept Shamaim refers to some Hebrew world, kingdom, or covenant. Never is there in Girdlestone's exegesis and explanation, any conclusion made that "heavens and earth" only symbolize spiritual realities. The only difference of interpretation in the use of , 'heavens" and "earth" is in the scope, the precise location of the physical reality to which they refer. Also Gesenius, in his renowned Hebrew lexicon, knows of no "symbolic" interpretation of heaven and earth.

The context of passages in which the concept of new heavens and earth are used always plainly teaches that a cosmic reality is intended. Isaiah 65 passage refers, for example, to wolves and lambs, lions and bullocks, dust and serpents in the new heavens and new earth. There are new relationships among these creatures, to be sure, among these earthly creatures. But this only indicates that they are "new" as is the new heavens and earth of which they are a part. There is no indication that these are only "symbolic" or "non-material" creatures, and that the harmony and end of the curse which is implied by their new heaven and earth status and relationship is only symbolic, as FP would have us believe, of a new covenant which has no literal, material, cosmic significance. These creatures of God will be in the new heavens and new earth. They are part of it. And when the heavens and the earth are called to sing when the Lord shall have comforted his people and have had mercy upon his afflicted (Isaiah 49: 13), this is the whole literal created cosmos. There is no sound exegetical reason to understand otherwise.

Revelation 21, which speaks of a new heaven (singular) and new earth is also, clearly, cosmic. Its creation, for example, involves the "passing away" of the first heaven and the first earth so that there is no more sea (v. 1). II Peter 3, as well, addresses the cosmic aspect of the new heavens and earth when it speaks of the day of the Lord coming in which "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heart, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (v.l0).

This clearly speaks of the real stuff of which the real created universe is made, and all of it, being destroyed. It clearly implies that the new heavens and new earth for which believers look according to God's promise (v. 13), is made out of the same stuff, and will be a new universe.

The second outstanding feature of this new cosmic creation is that it is perfect.

The first creation was a good creation of God (Genesis 1,2). This new creation will be eminently good and glorious and never liable again to imperfection, disruption, disharmony, death, and curse. This is the plain teaching of Isaiah 65 passage which speaks of wolf and lamb feeding together, vegetarian lions, and harmless serpents; all of the creatures of which "shall not hurt nor destroy" in all God's holy mountain (v.25).

This same new heavens and earth creature-harmony is referred to in Isaiah 11: 6-9.

How this new creation is made is important to understand. The creation of new heavens and earth is twofold. It involves conflagration. It involves conflagration which is redemption.

Conflagration. The new heavens and new earth, created at the coming and final day of the Lord, is established by the burning up of the old earth, and a new creative re- fashioning of that creation by the hand of God after the old has been purged of all sin and the effects of sin.

II Peter 3 speaks of the creation of a new heavens and earth at the coming of the day of the Lord (v. 10ff). The plain sense of the passage is that this occurs at the dissolution of the physical heavens and earth, and is the creation of an entire new cosmos, a new heavens and new earth. The day of the Lord, which will come, we are told, as a thief in the night, is one in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heart, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (v. 10). This coming day of God will be one of fire "wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (v. 12). The destruction of this heavens and earth is compared with the destruction of ' 'the world that then was", v.6, at the time of the flood. The heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word (by which the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water (v.5) are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, v. 7 .

FP tries with might and main to escape the clear sense and full force of the inspired Peter's words. At issue is FP's whole doctrinal house. Obviously, at 70 AD, when, it is contended, Christ came, and the new heavens and earth were created, there was no literal burning up of the universe. So II Peter 3, which the Church of Jesus Christ has always interpreted as clearly teaching a literal burning of the old and the creation of a new heavens and earth, must be reinterpreted.

Don Preston's interpretation of II Peter 3 is a glaring and appalling example of the desperate attempt of preterists to fit everything into their preterist glove. In an article on the subject of "The Passing of the Elements": 2 Peter 3: 10 Preston states:

"My argument is simple: Paul wrote the same thing about the passing of the "elements" of the world as did Peter (2 Peter 3:15,16). But Paul, in discussing the passing of the "elements" of the world, wrote exclusively of the passing away of the "elements" of Old Covenant Israel. Therefore, Peter, in 2 Peter 3, wrote of the passing of the "elements" of Old Covenant Israel."

As simple as that! Paul meant one thing about the passing of the elements of the world. Therefore, Peter, in 2 Peter 3, must mean the same as Paul! About this, several comments:

First, this is no exegesis of the passage in Peter. It is eisegesis, a reading into the passage what one wants it to say. It is committing the logical fallacy of "begging the question, " assuming as true what needs to be proven to be true. It is dishonor to the Word of God, which must be handled with respect and listened to!

Second, one could just as well counter, using the same reasoning as Preston, that because Peter means one thing about the passing of the elements of the world, therefore Paul ought to mean the same thing!

Third, it is the case, in fact, that the Spirit through Paul is addressing of one thing, and the Spirit through Peter is speaking of another thing. Whereas Paul specifically and pointedly and obviously in Galatians and Colossians, speaks of “elements of the world" under which those prior to Christ were in bondage, and from which Christians have been liberated, and, therefore, specifically, and pointedly and obvious1y is speaking of the glorious blessedness of the new covenant, Peter in II Peter 3 makes no such reference to these kinds of "elements of the world", namely principles of the Old Testament law, nor is Peter speaking of the establishment of the "new covenant", but of creation of the new heavens and new earth-the exact correspondence of which two (new covenant and new creation), indeed is what needs to be proven, and not merely assumed by FP!

Rather, in the context of II Peter 3 itself, there is clear reference to a world, a physical world, just like the world that then was before the flood, v.6, which, upon the coming of the Lord, will bum up. This "burning up", this being "reserved unto fire" is something which must be taken literally. There is in this passage no ground for a "spiritualizing" of this "burning". FP latches on to "elements" here, which has, it contends, in other places, a meaning which suits its system, and then forces a "spiritualized" interpretation. But if FP is arbitrary and prejudiced in its interpretation, it also falls prey to the criticism of being arbitrary and also inconsistent and in its hermeneutic. For if "elements" here is spiritual, so is the "burning", so is the "fervent heat", so are the "works" of men which also shall be burned up, so are the heavens, and so is the earth which are to be "burned," and ultimately so are the heavens and earth which are now, the world that then was, the Deluge which destroyed that (spiritual) place (v.6), and the very beginning of the creation, v.4 which the day of the Lord brings to an end!

The desperation of FP to find an interpretation that fits into its 70 A.D. perception, while trying to dodge the light of II Peter 3, is seen in another article by Preston, entitled "World Without End." His contention there is that Genesis 8:21-22 is proof positive that the Lord would never destroy the earth. That text reads

v.21: "And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

v.22: "While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

An interpretation which would find in this passage irrefutable evidence that the Lord would never destroy the earth is no interpretation of the text. It is a reading into the text what one wants it to say. The Lord says here that He will not again smite any more every living thing as He had done (v.21.). This could mean that He would never send a flood upon the earth again-so that in that manner the Lord would never visit the earth in judgment. But that is not the idea. The idea is that the Lord will not destroy the earth at all as long as it remains. And the reason He gives is that whereas once, due to man's sinfulness, He would show Himself wrathful (Genesis 6:5), now, though there be this same sinfulness (8:21), ye He will show Himself the God of mercy in refraining from destroying the earth so long as it remains.

Preston sees this linking of God's promise not to destroy the earth "because of man's sin" as proof that God will never destroy the earth, because man will always be sinful. The difficulty with this is that

1) This is not what the passage says. Verse 22 specifically says: while the earth remains there shall be seed time and harvest, etc... The Hebrew reads literally "Until all the days of the earth..." there shall be seed time and harvest, etc..." .It does not say that the earth, this earth, will exist forever. .It only says that "until all the days of the earth" there shall be seed time and harvest, etc... The phrase "until all the days of the earth" might mean, in fact, that "until all the days" are fulfilled, and the time which has been appointed for final judgment has come, there shall be no more preliminary destruction of the earth as in the Deluge." This would be the traditional understanding of the text in light of the rest of the Bible.

2) Nothing in the passage in Genesis 8 shows, as Preterists desire it show, that there will be sin on this earth forever. There will be sin on this earth "while the earth remains," "until all the days of the earth," but the text does not say this is forever.

3) The rest of the Scripture clearly speaks of the destruction of the earth, of the kosmos (II Peter 3; Hebrews 1: 10, 11), and of a day when there will be no more sin-in the new heavens and earth (II Peter 3: 13). Genesis 8 must, therefore, be interpreted in that clear light.

FP denies that the establishment of the new heavens and new earth involves the conflagration of the physical universe and the creation, out of that, of the new. It contends that it involves, instead, the abrogation of the old covenant, and the establishment of the new covenant.

This is brought out in FP's interpretation of various phrases in the book of Hebrews which speak of heavens and earth and either their shaking or their passing away. This has nothing to do with "physical worlds" says FP, but with "covenant worlds" (cf  Don Preston, art. "World Without End").

A passage like Hebrews 1 :10-12, for example, is thought to teach that the folding up of the heavens and earth, and the changing of them, is the destruction of the old covenant, and the establishment of the new. The passage reads:

And thou, Lord; in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment,' and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. "

To any believing, Bible honoring reader this passage can not refer to the abrogation of one covenant and the establishment a new. As follows:

Here (and in Psalm 102:25-27 of which this passage is a quotation) is clear reference to the future destruction of the universe. The Lord Himself destroys what He, in the beginning has made. Since "in the beginning" (Genesis 1:1) the Lord made a physical universe, the "perishing" of it (Psalm 102:26), and the "folding up" of it must mean, according to sound exegetical principles, the perishing and folding up that same physical universe.

The purpose of this passage in Hebrews is the same as the purpose of the entire first chapter: to establish the preeminency of the Christ of God over all the cosmos!

Here, it is stated that the Son, whom God hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds, v.2, is the same Lord, v.10 and God (Psalm 102:24,25) Who made all things, and also, according to His good pleasure and power, shall destroy them.

Here is trumpeted the supremacy of the sovereign, cosmic, creating Christ, the very Son of God, the brightness of the glory of God, the express image of His person, v.3!

This cosmic creating Christ, in the mention of His causing the earth He has made to perish, the Word presents as "folding up" the creation as a vesture so that it shall be "changed." John Owen comments on this passage as follows:

"The work which was of old in the creation of the world, and that which shall be in the mutuation or abolition of it,--which is not less an effect of infinite power than the former ,--are ascribed unto the Lord Christ. Whatever the work be, he compares it to a garment no more to be used, or at least not to be used in the same kind wherein it was before; and the work itself to the folding up or rolling up of such a garment,--intimating the greatness of him by whom this work shall be performed, and the facility of the work unto him. The whole creation is as a garment, wherein he shows his power clothed unto men; whence in particular he is said to clothe himself with light as with a garment. And in it is the hiding of his power. Hid it is, as a man is hid with a garment; not that he should not be seen at all, but that he should not be seen perfectly and as he is. It shows the man, and he is known by it; but also it hides him, that he is not perfectly or fully seen. So are the works of creation unto God. He so far makes them his garment or clothing as in them to give out some instances of his power and wisdom; but he is also hid in them, in that by them no creature can come to the full and perfect knowledge of him. Now, when this work shall cease, and God shall unclothe or unveil all his glory to his saints, and they shall know him perfectly, see him as he is, so far as a created nature is capable of that comprehension, then will he lay them aside and fold them up, at least as to that use, as easily as a man lays aside a garment that he will wear or use no more. This lies in the metaphor." (Hebrews, vol. 3, p.209).

The FP thinks it has justification for its interpretation of Hebrews 1:10-12 in light of Hebrews 8:13 and Hebrews 12:18-29. Hebrews 12 speaks of the "shaking" of the earth in connection with God's salvation of both the old covenant and the new covenant people. Hebrews 8 speaks of covenant in language reflective of Hebrews 1 when it says in that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. The problem for FP is that neither text itself or by implication makes the leap of equating as it desperately desires, the dissolution of the earth with the dissolution of the covenant, and the establishment of the new heavens and earth with the establishment of the new covenant.

No exegesis will help the FP view. But balanced, contextual explanation of the Word will surely favor the Reformed perspective of the cosmic covenant and the new heavens and new earth (cf. John Owen, for a balanced view of both Hebrews I :10-12 and Hebrews 8:13, in his Hebrews, vol. 3, p.210, and vol. 6, p. I 76,7).

The equating of the establishment of the new heavens and earth with the establishment of the new covenant, is, I believe, a fatal exegetical and principal flaw of FP. FP needs this "covenant principle", of course, to justify its view that Christ came in 70 A.D. and inaugurated then the new heavens and earth. The "covenant principle" is used by them to explain the apparent "oldness", still, of the creation. It is used by them to explain that the possession of resurrection bodies is not important, and not taught in Scripture. It is used to explain why there is still physical death, and sorrow, and sighing. The explanation? Salvation is spiritual! Life in new covenant fellowship with God is the thing! Behold in Christ, the Christ Who is come, all things are new! And through faith the believer can be now so enrapt with this new life with God in the new heavens and earth so that the earth and his present disease and their present deformities do not so much matter.

We beg to differ! Matter matters. The cosmos matters. The body matters. Because God's covenant matters, and God's covenant was established in the way of incarnation, matter matters.

The traditional Reformed view is as follows.

First, the old covenant/new covenant transition was established/or the Church in and through the atoning blood of Jesus, and realized in the Church on the day of Pentecost (cf Jesus' words at the institution of the Supper, '~This is the new covenant in my blood.. .", and Acts 2: 14ff). The Jews as a nation were rejected already in the cross of Christ's judgment. The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. was neither the abrogation of the old covenant, nor the establishment of the new covenant. It was rather a confirmation in history of what occurred really and principally in those saving events of our Lord. A.D. 70 was a sign, indeed, both of the significance of the Jewish rejection of Messiah (prior to AD. 70), and of Christ's victory on the cross and in His resurrection (cf. Robert Reymond on Matthew 24 in his "A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith". Reymond sees Matthew 24.30 as proof that in the destruction of Jerusalem is a sign of Jesus not come to earth, but reigning in heaven, and "coming" therefore, in power and in judgment, even as He said would "hereafter," after His death and resurrection, would be the case, Matthew 26:64). Shifting the focus of covenant to 70 AD. shifts the focus, dangerously, away from Calvary, Resurrection Sunday, and Pentecost. It also shifts the focus, inordinately, on the Jews, and away from the Church. The destruction and raising of the temple Jesus, must be the focus. The establishment of the temple Church must be the focus.

Second, the covenant is cosmic. And the cosmos has to do with covenant. God so loved, in covenant love, the world, the created cosmos, and gave His Son for it (John 3:16). The creation of it, the passing away of it, the creation of the new heavens and new earth in which righteousness shall dwell is all about covenant and creation, covenant in creation, and all the creation participating in the covenant blessing and fellowship of God.

To be sure, Jerusalem, the people of God is always at the center of the covenant, the apple of all the apples and ants and whatnot of the earth, being the apple of God's eye. In a very real sense Jerusalem, the city of God, and the new Jerusalem are at the center of God's universe! God's covenant salvation of His people in Christ is His first and primary of all purposes. For by that Word Christ, and for Him, were all things made (Colossians 1: 15ff). But redemption is cosmic. As the fall was, so the renewal is and shall be-even now, there is a whole creation which groans and travails in pain together until now. . . waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:22,23). Which leads to this point:

Conflagration which is redemption. The reason that the new heavens and new earth is cosmic, and is a perfect cosmos, is because redemption embraces the heaven and earth. Even as when God created the heavens and the earth and even as when in the fall the effect, the death, was "cosmic", affecting the whole (Genesis 3), so redemption embraces the whole. The whole creation which groans and travails in pain together until now, waits for the adoption, the redemption of the body, which is nothing less than deliverance from the bondage of corruption and a participation in the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:19-23)

Cornelis Venema, in his excellent work entitled "The Promise of the Future," writes:

Sin has disrupted the harmony and peace between the Triune God and his creatures, a disruption that encompasses heaven and earth. Even in heaven itself, the enemies of God have rebelled against his gracious rule. Indeed the rebellion of the creature against the Creator began in heaven and spilled over to the earth. Consequently, when God's work of redemption reaches its consummation. not only will every rebellious creature be cast out of heaven, but the earth itself will be cleansed of every vestige of sin. Heaven and earth, rather than being estranged from each other, will once more be reunited in a new heaven and new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3: 13) (p.459)

Venema writes further:

The future of the believing community will be one in which the original harmony between heaven and earth is restored. The peace or shalom that mark the life of the renewed creation will be expressed in the reconciliation of heaven and earth. Heaven, the place of God's special dwelling, will come down to the earth and God will dwell in the midst of his people. The promise of the future for believers finds its focus in heaven. but it does not exclude the earth. Rather, all things will be united in Christ. whether things in heaven or things upon the earth (Eph. 1:10).

And:

The creation will be wholly sanctified cleansed of every stain and remainder of sin. The new heavens and the new earth will be more glorious and resplendent of God's power, wisdom, and grace. that the creation at its beginning. Once more but now in a .;surpassing wav, the creation will be a temple fit for the dwelling of God with his people, a place suitable for the eniovent of communion and friendship between the Creator and the creature. (460)

B. Glorified Eternal Life of the Believers in Christ

The New heavens and Earth is the place of eternal blessedness. At the prospect of it the people of God are called to be glad and rejoice. And the reason is because the new heavens and new earth shall be the creation of Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (Isaiah 65: 18). There shall be no more tears there. nor sorrow- nor sighing. nor pain (Revelation 21: 4). And the reason for this is that in the new heavens and earth there will be no more cause for sorrow, namely, sin, nor will there be any consequences or sin such as, and including the principle consequence, death (Romans 6:23). It is the place where righteousness shall dwell (II Peter 3:13), and the effects righteousness of Christ, even eternal life (Romans 5: 14, 21).Yes. as death reigned by sin. so life in the new heavens and earth reigns by the righteousness of Christ! Here is the absence of every form of vanity, sickness, affliction, weakness, dishonor, and corruption. Here is the glory of full redemption (Lk 24:26: Rom 2:10; 8:18, 21, 2 Thess 1: 10). Here is the eternity or the life of perfect fellowship with God and The privilege of worshiping God, this new world without end! Venema summarizes This blessed state of the new heavens and earth as follows:

Believers who presently bless God for every .spiritual blessing in Christ," (Eph1: 3), will enter into the perfection of these blessings in the life to come. Every vestige and remainder of sin will be utterly expunged. Every obstacle to ,fellowship with the triune God will be removed. No impediment or weight of sin will stand in the wav of wholehearted communion and love for God. " (p.470)

FP are obviously faced with a lot of problems when it comes to explaining how, in light of the clear teaching of Scripture of the "blessed hope" of the believer, that this, this present life of sin and death, which FP claims is the new heavens and new earth. could be the consummation of that hope! One tactic is to find a text which might seem to teach the presence of sin and death in the new heavens and new earth and to explain what the clear teaching of the Bible on this matter. in "light" of what might. admittedly, be a difficult passage.

Such as Isaiah 65:20. This reads: There shall be no more thence an infant of days. nor an old man that hath not filled his' days: for the child shall die an hundred years' old, but the sinner being! an hundred years old shall be accursed

The FP might have the audacity to suggest that that means there will be sin and death in the new heavens and earth. But Scripture must decide. and it indeed condemns such a notion. and for the following: reasons:

1. The Bible clearly says in other places that in the new heavens and earth in the final state and condition of the Church of Jesus Christ. there will be no more sin and death.

That there is no more sin is clear from the fact that this is the place where righteousness (and nothing: else!) dwells. And where sinners shall have no place, for there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomiation, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life (Revelation 21 :27).

That there is no more death is clear from the fact that there is no more sin. It is also clear from a passage such as Isaiah 25: 8 (quoted in I Corinthians 15) which speaks of death being swallowed up in victory in the day of the Lord. It is also clear from Revelation 21:4 which is the very New Testament explanation of the joyful state depicted in Isaiah 65 as it says: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eves: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passing away." The Lord Jesus. sneaking of the children who are accounted worthy to obtain "that" (new) world- says that then and there they can not die anymore (Luke 20:36).

And the honor of that same Lord Jesus is that He must reign- till he hath put all enemies under his feet. And that last enemy, according: to 1 Cor. 15: 26) is death.

2. As to the interpretation of Isaiah 65:20 I offer the following:

1) In light of the above texts, v.20 cannot mean there is sin and death in the new heavens and new earth.

2) In light of the fact that God Himself will rejoice in this Jerusalem- v.19. meaning there is no cause for grief even for God ( cf Isaiah 63: 9, 10), and therefore nothing. which moves God to anger. there can not be any sin and death in the new heavens and new earth. The first perfect creation God called “good:" this new creation and Jerusalem he will call "best!"

3) The first part of the verse, which reads lit., "From there" shall be no more an infant of days, etc...", may be interpreted (as by E. Y. Young): "From there may refer to Jerusalem, the thought being that There will not be from there (i.e. taken away from there by death) a suckling with respect to days. Thus. death will not take away from there (i.e. from the Jerusalem of the messianic age) one who is merely a suckling child as death is now wont to do. Nor will the elderly man who has not yet lived out the full span of life meted to him be taken away by death as is now the case."

4) As to the expression "for the child shall die an hundred years old_" this is to be understood according to the main point which the prophet would make. now poetically. that the new heavens and new earth will be one of unmitigated joy. It describes the fact that there will be no death for the child! Just as it is impossible for a child to die when an hundred years old- for then the child would no longer be a child, so there will be no death for the child!

5) That the text sneaks of a sinner being an hundred years old, who nevertheless shall be accursed. is not to be understood as if there were sinners in the new heavens and earth. The text is in fact contrasting the state of those in Jerusalem, of the elect saints, with the sinners.

There seems in fact to be here a contrast begun in v.13 between the elect servants of God and the wicked who forsake God. That a sinner is mentioned in this context does not suggest that the sinner lives side by side with the saints in the new heavens. That a sinner might have a lot of earthy years, but no blessing, only curse, serves to contrast the blessedness of the believer In glory with the sinner who perished under the wrath of God (cf. Isaiah 66:22-24).

6) This interpretation tits the context. w21-25, in which the blessedness of the glory is further described as being rid of all semblance and form of the vanity and death of this life. so that even in the animal realm there is no death, and nothing and no one, not AIDS, nor cancer, nor heart disease, hurting in all my holy mountain (v.25).

In the eternal glorified state, condition, and place of the new heavens and new earth will be new believers! The "newness" of the believers will involve there having new. resurrection bodies. When the Lord comes again. there is a general resurrection of both the just and the unjust. John 5:28.29. There is for believers then. a "redemption" of our bodies (Romans 8:23), and a renewal of that body to fit it for glory by its own glorification: I Corinthians 15.

Since FP advocates the view that the Parousia of Christ was in 70 A.D., it is forced to confess that there must have been then a resurrection, of sorts, then. FP, however, denies the orthodox confession of the resurrection of the body in that- for one thing. it denies that the resurrection involves our own physical bodies. As the establishment of the new heavens and new earth is a spiritual-covenantal event, so the resurrection in 70 A.D. was, if It occurred, of a spiritual sort. and by spiritual read "non-physical." This is no small matter. but. according! to the Christian Church. grievous heresy. For the Westminster Larger Catechism, 0 & A 86 reads "

The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death, is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness, and received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting, for the, full redemption of their bodies, which even in death continue untied to Christ, and rest in their graves as in their beds, till at the last day they be again united to their souls.

And Westminister's Confession of Faith calls the resurrected body of believers the "selfsame" body which they had on the earth. And the Heidelberg Catechism speaks of our comfort knowing that in the resurrection this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ " (Lord's Day 22).

Speaking on the importance of maintaining the orthodox doctrine of the resurrection of the body, Venema, in "The Promise of the Future," writes

The biblical expectation for the future of believers is not primarily focused upon what is often called the intermediate state Much less is it the immortality of the soul. The spotlight of the bible falls upon the resurrection of the body, that is, the restoration and renewal of the whole person, body and soul, in a renewed state of integrity within the context of a new heavens and earth. (p.364).

Venema goes on:

This is in fact one of the distinctive features of the biblical view of the future and of the salvation that is obtained for us in Christ. The biblical account of creation records that the Triune God created Adam a 'living soul', formed from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2.7). Our creatureliness in its wholeness and integrity always includes the body, which was created originally good. Redemption from the curse of God against sin likewise addresses the whole of our need, body and soul. This is the reason the reformation confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, speaks of the believer's comfort in terms of belonging to Christ 'with body and soul '. Redemption does not deny the integrity and goodness of creation; it rather brings the healing and renewal of creation. The same Lord who forgives all our sins is the One who 'heals all our diseases', including that sickness of body and soul that leads to death (Psa 103,3). Thus, no biblical picture of the believer's future may fail to include as a central part the promise of the resurrection of the body. (p.364,5)

Venema in a footnote adds:

In many dualistic worldview which sharply distinguish the spiritual and the material (Manichaeism, some forms of ancient Greek philosophy) and in many monistic worldviews that deny the ultimate reality of the material world (gnosticism, Hinduism, Buddhism), the teaching of a resurrection of the body has no legitimate or proper place. The biblical teaching of the resurrection of the body has an appropriate home within the framework of the biblical understanding of creation and redemption, with redemption as a restoration and renewal, and not a denial, of creation. (p.364,5)

Speaking to the nature of the resurrection body Venema notes the following:

First, we can draw some conclusions from the resurrection of Christ's body, for the changing of our vile body in the resurrection is said to be a fashioning like unto Christ's glorious body…Phil 3:21. The empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus on earth tell us that though Jesus' body after His resurrection was different (He could pass through walls), yet there was substantial likeness: it was the same body, and He took pains to prove this to the disciples.

Second, we can draw conclusions from passages which speak more directly of the nature of the resurrection body. I Tim 2: 18: false teachers taught that the resurrection had "largely taken place.". These had apparently spiritualized the resurrection. Phil 3:20,21 teaches that our own humble body will be glorified: our present bodies exhibit all the marks of sin and curse: weak, decaying, fragile, temporary; our resurrection bodies: all the marks and benefits of Christ's saving work: strong, incorruptible, indestructible, enduring... In 2 Cor 5: 1-9 believers body are compared to an earthly tent which after it is torn down is replaced by a building form God a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, v.l

Commenting at length on the most extensive passage, I Corinthians 15, Venema explains as follows:

Conclusions:

1. Paul is answering the question: what kind of body do they come, 35.

2. First the apostle uses the metaphor of the see that is sown and its eventual germination and bringing forth of fruit to illustrate the connection between the present body and the resurrection body. However great the difference between the seed sown and the fruit it eventually bears the seed and the fruit are of one kind. . . Then the apostle elaborates at some length upon the obvious differences in the kinds of flesh that distinguishes various creatures. The resurrection of the body is likened to the dying of a seed in order that it might come to life in the form of its fruit. This means that the resurrection body is of a distinctively human kind. When God raises believers from the dead. their bodies, however new and changed, remain distinctively and peculiarly human, according to their kind.

3. Second, a series of contrasts are drawn between the natural and the spiritual body. The earthly body is sown perishable: in dishonor: in weakness: is natural... the body that shall be raised is raised imperishable: in glory; in power; is heavenly.

Summarizing Ihese contrasts Venema notes: p.374:

These terms- do not contras- a body that is made up of "material stuff’ with a body that is made up of 'spiritual stuff’, as if to suggest that the resurrection body will me immaterial or non-fleshly. Rather, they distinguish sharply the present body as one which belongs to the present age which is passing away and under the curse of God, and the resurrection body which belongs to the life of the Spirit in the age to come. The distinction is not between material and immaterial. but between two kinds of bodies. that answer to the present age and the age to come.”

4. Third. in the closing section the description of these respective bodies is based on the contrast between the two original bearers or these bodies: the first man, Adam and the second man, Christ. Adam who is from the earth is intimated with the earthly bodies of those that bear his image. Adam represents the first humanity which is under the dominion and liability of sin, meaning it is subject to perishing, dishonor, weakness,. death. Christ, who is "from heaven" is closely related to the heavenly bodies who bear his image: they are the second humanity under the dominion and blessing of salvation, the recipient of imperishability, glory, power and never ending life. The resurrection body of believers will be conformed to that of Christ's glory; it will not be wholly dissimilar to the present body but will have similarity and continuity. Thus it will be the same body, but glorified, and a real body, material and fleshly but so conformed to the image and glory of Christ that no vestige of the power and destructive effects of sin will remain.: vv54-57.

This resurrection glory, Venema goes on, is linked to the resurrection and renewal of all things:

If the salvation of believers includes the restoration of body and soul to a state of integrity and wholeness, then it must also include the full restoration of the creation. Just as Adam was originally formed from the dust of the earth and placed within the creation-temple of God in which to serve and glorify the Creator, so also in redemption the new humanity will be restored to a life and service under the headship and dominion of the second Adam, in a newly cleansed creation temple.

So Venema concludes. p.378:

This intimate link between the believer's resurrection and the renewal of the creation allows us to see the unity between individual and general (or cosmic) eschatology. It also joins together the salvation of the church and her members with the great events of cosmic renewal that will accompany Christ’s return at the end of the age.

Indeed, in a legitimate sense, the justification and sanctification of the believer find their parallels' in the justification and sanctification of the heavens and earth in the new creation. Just a the Lord declared the first creation in its state of integrity very good (Genesis 2.. 31), so the renewed creation will be worthy of the same judgment. And just as the first creation was perfect and holy in its consecration to the Lord, so the renewed creation will be one 'wherein dwells righteousness' (see II Peter 3: 10-13). Justified and sanctified saints will dwell in a justified and sanctified creation. A people holy unto the Lord, a royal priesthood, will enjoy fellowship with the Lord in the sanctuary of his renewed creation

So, a mystery! But a blessed truth! We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed! Resurrection change! Shall your body die, and even decay, or be cast to the four winds or eaten by wild animals? No matter. for through Jesus Christ. and His resurrection as the first-fruits of the redemption of His own Body, your body shall be raised. Perhaps God will form the resurrection body from the same identical particles as the present body. Our God could do that. But this need not be the case for there to be substantial and personal identity to exist between the present body and the resurrection body. As in our own life we know that from our body we are losing, as we speak millions of cells and others are replacing it: also. we have injuries. and even might lose a limb: or undergo a heart transplant: yet always we are the same and have the same body, substantially. so God, Who does all things marvelously. will raise and renew us in our bodies in the final day in the general. public resurrection of the dead!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ which according to him abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through him unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time! (I Peter 1:3-5)

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Date:
11 Feb 2004
Time:
20:46:04

Comments

It continues to amaze me that all of these futurists without exception, deny the clear time statements given by the prophets, Jesus, and the disciples.

These verses are numerous and plain. They will never deal with the time statements! They will always shift the argument to the nature (unclear) of things without even considering the time (clear). It is truly sad to see such lack of critical thinking and poor hermeneutics. Words like soon, quickly, shortly, at hand, about to be, this generation, will not tarry, at the door now, last hour, these last days etc. etc. can never mean what they say. PLEASE!!! --Batman


Date:
11 Feb 2004
Time:
22:12:31

Comments

When I now read such defenses of the futuristic views I cringe. I can no longer refrain from asking the following questions.

1. Can this person, or the people of such persuasion, see Jesus? He told his disciples that the world would not be able to see Him, but that they would. The wicked have not seen God neither have they known Him. Scary!

2. Can these writers, or these people, see Christ's kingdom? Taking what Jesus said at face value assures us that our seeing the kingdom in the now is up to our choice, - it is our own personal responsibility, and is something that every Christiian must do. If they do not - they cannot enter it. St. John

3. This is something that sould make all who claim to be a preterist really be filled with concern. We must do some soul searching and repenting and be about praying for our friends and relatives who say that Jesus is not here. For it would appear that in their doing this they are denying his 2nd coming and are, in some sense, denying Christ.

 God help us all. Vern www.peacekey.com


Date:
12 Feb 2004
Time:
06:48:54

Comments

"By no stretch of sound biblical exegesis can the concept 'new heavens and earth' in Scripture refer to anything less than an entirely new creation."

I find it interesting, and a little disturbing, that the author cites the description of the new creation in Isaiah 65 and Isaiah 11:6-9 in defense of his position, but completely ignores Isaiah 11:1-5, 10-16. I suppose, since verses 1-5 set a context that is clearly a reference to Christ's earthly life and since Paul quotes verse 10 as being fulfilled during his life (Rom 15:12), citing the rest of the chapter would kind of destroy the author's argument. Better, I guess, to practice "sound biblical exegesis" and ignore half a chapter that doesn't fit into your position.


Date:
12 Feb 2004
Time:
08:00:55

Comments

In Peter's day the scoffers were saying, "where is this coming he promised?" We must answer one very important question: Who was right? Peter, Jesus, and the other Apostles or the scoffers? What would those same scoffers be saying today, now 2000 years later and still no coming?

Also, why were they scoffing if indeed Jesus never promised a soon return? The credibility of the scriptures is at stake here. This well intentioned brother is, IMHO, chipping away at the infallibility of scripture. David


Date:
12 Feb 2004
Time:
12:29:07

Comments

I am surprised that the author quotes John Owen approvingly in his comments on Hebrews. Has he read Owen's exposition of 2 Peter 3 (John Owen, "Providential Changes, An Argument for Universal Holiness," in William H. Goold, ed., The Works of John Owen, 16 vols. [London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1965-68], 9:134)?

Owen writes: "On this foundation I affirm that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state"--i.e., the Fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. "

Then there is the problem of Isaiah 65:20 where it states: "For the youth will die at the age of one undred nd the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed." Death in the "new heavens and the new eaerth" (65:17)? How does the author get around this?

"In light of the above texts, v.20 cannot mean there is sin and death in the new heavens and new earth." He claims that 65:20 is "poetic." It may be. But isn't this the very thing he charges preterists with in their interpretation of "new heavens and new earth"? Mitchell Dick has a lot of work to do. He should start by reading John Owen's article. Gary DeMar


Date:
12 Feb 2004
Time:
21:49:23

Comments

The writer argues that the expression "for the child shall die an hundred years old_" is to be understood, that Isiaiah had switched from literal into poetic mode, that "SHALL DIE an hundred years" describes THE FACT (????) that there will be NO DEATH for the child! The rationale given is that it is impossible for a child to die when an hundred years old for then the child would no longer be a child! Is this "biblical hermeneutic"? If one applies the same argument, it will make a mockery of many biblical prophecies, like Luke 1:76, "And thou, CHILD, … SHALL GO before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways", as interpreted by Zacharias. As such, John the Baptist could not had fulfilled the prophecy as by the time he appeared in the wilderness, he was no longer a kid! ==== Will there be animals in the new cosmic creation - in the New heavens and New Earth - "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock"? If there will be no death, then these animals do not die. Or it is to be interpreted as "poetic" too? And if it is to be "poetic", then why is only the "New Heavens and New Earth" interpreted literally? ==== MS Cheo.


Date:
13 Feb 2004
Time:
09:40:10

Comments

James Jordan (partial preterist) demonstrates in his book "Through New Eyes" that the new heavens/new earth theme runs throughout the old testament, and indicates a renewal/expansion of the covenant, not the end of the world. Good book.


Date:
14 Feb 2004
Time:
08:29:24

Comments

before reading the article below I suggest you listen to the audio link. It is from a website totally unrelated to the article below. Remember also the name Rothschild and Scofield. http://eliminatemortgages.com/jeckyll.ram One Worlders Promote Televangelists, ‘Last Days,’ Rapture to Lay Foundation for Global Government Powerful globalist forces are promoting high-powered television evangelists and religious publishers who teach “end times” and “last days” religious dispensationalism talking of an ultimate “rapture” in order to help lay the groundwork for one world government. That “controversial” proposition was put forth during a lively interview on Nov. 18 between Radio Free America host Tom Valentine and his guest, John Anderson, producer of the thought-provoking new video, The Last Days. Anderson contends that true Christian fundamentalism, based on the teachings of the Bible, has absolutely nothing to do with the “end times” and “last days” theory (first enunciated in the late 18th century and popularized in the 19th century by Darby and Scofield). Instead, true Christian fundamentalism takes the Bible at its word and accepts that Christ accomplished all that he intended to do while on Earth and that His kingdom is here and is now. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview. Comments by Valentine are in boldface. Anderson’s responses are in regular text. A host of television evangelists preach that “we are living in the last days,” that we are “facing Armageddon” and “the end times are upon us,” that the modern-day political and geographic state of Israel is “the handiwork of God.” In the Nov. issue of Insight magazine, which is published by Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon [the owner of The Washington Times], writer Don Feder criticizes President George W. Bush for pressuring Israel, saying the fate of America and “the seed of Abraham” are intertwined, that the United States has to treat Israel as the “handiwork of God” or else America will go down the tubes. When I first became a Christian and began reading the Bible on my own and not listening to others’ interpretations, I realized there is no such thing as “Israel.” “Israel” was wiped out in 70 A.D. and God had a hand in it. Your excellent videotape, The Last Days, explains precisely that. We are on a campaign to get people back into the Bible. We get so much of our theology today from movies and television. We have best-selling icons out there, such as The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsay, the number one selling book for a long time. Now Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series has sold over 40 million copies, and is a feature-length film. We are getting our Biblical information from these types of people. As a result, we are getting a fictional account which they are portraying as being Biblical. Today you have more evangelical “end time” Christians in office than any other obvious “religion” in the world. So when people talk about God saying, “I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel,” this rings down the corridors of Congress. Political decisions are being made based on this faulty interpretation of the Bible that only came into popular teaching in the mid-1800s. The bottom line fundamental Biblical truth—contrary to the so-called “fundamentalism” taught by the modern-day false prophets who teach that we are in the “end times”—is that Christ did everything he said he was going to do and as he said he was going to do it. Anything other than that is absolute heresy. So how could Cyrus Ingerson Scofield come along in the 19th century and footnote the Bible and claim the Bible says what it doesn’t say? Let’s look at human nature. People say, “Why polish the brass on a sinking ship? We’re going to be raptured anyway.” What’s easier to sell: responsibility and doing what Jesus Christ commanded you to do to make a difference, or to sit back and say, “Hey, we’re in the last days and getting ready to be raptured. Why worry about what’s happening in our world today?” Which is easier to sell? The escapist mentality, obviously. If you want to bring about a one-world government and you have this huge Christian force out there, you must get them to believe that prophecy has not been fulfilled yet and that a one-world government by the Anti-Christ must come before Jesus Christ will return and destroy all of this. All of the land promises to Israel were conditional—and fulfilled. Scofield’s Reference Bible was first published by the Oxford Press controlled by the Rothschild family of Britain who have been major forces promoting a New World Order. A book, The Amazing Scofield, written by Joseph Can field deals with Scofield. I am going to produce a video on Mr. Scofield and give the history of this “dispensationalism” and how it first came into popular teaching. Canfield shows that Scofield, and, earlier, his mentor, John Darby of the so-called Plymouth Brethren, brought this in. Morgan Edwards taught this philosophy here in the United States in 1799, the first documentation of such a message being given here. Where did they get their information from? A Jesuit priest. If we are going to have a one-world government, Christians are going to have to believe that prophecy has not been fulfilled. So dispensationalism was brought forth into the Dallas Theological Seminary and the rest is history. Yet, modern-day “end times” teachers attempt to link the land promises to the physical nation that is called “Israel.” That is the key political point being made by the people who have put forward this one-world scam (in the name of “Christianity” via the fraud of dispensationalism). They can’t have their global government if people believe that Christ has come and fulfilled the Old Testament and is there for every single person and that we should all be out there being better stewards of His planet and His kingdom on Earth and the gifts he has given us. Anyone who has actually bothered to read the Bible, realizes that the Bible only speaks of one “last days.” There are not multiple last days. There is only one. We find if we go back to Genesis 49:1, it says: “When Isaac called his 12 sons together” (which made up what was known as Biblical Israel in the natural sense), he said, “Come and let me tell you what shall befall you in the last days.” We find this theme all through the Old Testament. The last days were simply the last days of the old Jewish Covenant. As the writer of Hebrews 8:13 points out: “That which is waxing old and which is ready to banish away.” This appears time and time again. Hebrews 1:1-2 says that God, at sundry times and in diverse manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, but has “in these last days,” spoken to us by His son, Jesus Christ. These two points were made: the writer of He brews said that he (the writer) was living in the last days and that Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was in the last days. We have 1st Peter 4:7 saying “the end of all things is at hand.” We find James talking to the rich, saying, “you have heaped together for yourselves treasure for the last days,” and the apostle, John, says in 2:18 that “it is the last hour.” So we have a choice. If we say that we believe the Bible, that is holy and inspired in both the Greek and in the new language, then we can either believe them or not. As Jesus said to his apostles, He would lead them into all truth. Luke 21, beginning with verse 8, quotes Jesus as saying: “Many will come in my name saying ‘I am Christ,’ and that the end has drawn near. Believe them not.” He then lists about a dozen things that they would see and know and be qualified to say when the end had drawn near. That meant that anyone before them was a false prophet, saying that the end had drawn near, or anyone after them saying that the end had drawn near. Those to whom Christ spoke were the only ones empowered by Christ, God Almighty and the Holy Spirit to say when the last days actually were. The Old Testament was there to establish the New Testament. After I read the Old Testament, I read the New Testament several times, because I realized that the Old Testament had been fulfilled. “Fulfilled” means that it was over with: everything that God had promised Israel was given to them. It was a conditional promise and they didn’t keep all of it and they ended up paying a stiff price. That was the horrid destruction of Jerusalem in the three and a half years leading up to 70 A.D. When that temple was destroyed by Titus, the Roman, who said himself that God had a hand in its destruction it tore that whole structure of the original covenant people to oblivion. Even the Jewish leaders were killing their own people, according to Jewish historian Josephus. Your videotape makes this clearer than anything I’ve ever seen. There was no more. There was no more Zion. There was no more Israel. There was no more Judaism. Christ was now on the throne. Christi anity was the thing. The old order was gone. Yet today, we have the Zionists trying to rebuild the temple in Israel and a whole bunch of people calling themselves “Christians” who say that the rebuilding of this temple has to take place for God’s plan to work out. My simple mind says: “Hey, wait a minute. Christ doesn’t have to do anything. He has already done it. What’s with you guys? This is a bunch of hokum.” I felt very alone when I came to this realization and stopped talking to people about it because many Christians were outraged that I had concluded this. However, I met the late Grace Halsell and others who understand the truth out there. It dawned on me that this “Christian Ecumenism” which is teaching the various Christian churches that we are living in “the end times” is a scam—a deliberate scam to worm the Pharisee plan for a world government into the minds of Christians who will be dominated by these Pharisees. We are committing what I call “the Jewish error” all over again. When Christ came, the Jews were looking for the Messiah to be the one who would break the Roman yoke off them and that he would set up a physical, literal kingdom on this Earth. That was not His intention, contrary to what some of the modern day “prophets” would say. When He attempted to try to explain it while feeding the 5,000 who came to Him and they tried to make Christ king, He slipped away to the hills, saying, “My kingdom is not of this world. The kingdom of Heaven comes without observation. The kingdom of Heaven is within.” So the kingdom he brought and offered them is the one that they rejected because the physical, literal kingdom that they wanted, Christ never intended to establish. Today many people want a physical, literal Jesus and a physical literal temple and a physical literal kingdom that they can point to and say: “There they are.” Yet, today, we have the most magnificent kingdom that anyone who is a Christian and knows it in his heart can see. The kingdom is there for those who have Christ in their heart. He is on the throne and is there for every individual in the world who chooses to reach to Him. No king, no power on Earth, can take that away. It is already established. Yet, some people don’t think that is enough. First Samuel, Chapter 8, points out that when they came to Samuel and asked for a king, he told them that they didn’t need one. Samuel took it to God and God said, “Samuel, they have not rejected you but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” Today people are doing the same thing. People want to believe this 18th century theory that God is going to come down from Heaven and pave the streets of the literal city of Jerusalem with gold and that He will rule there for 1,000 years. Yet, none of this is going to happen, according to Scripture. That is correct. One of the problems is that the dispensationalists totally ignore the time statements that are made in the Bible. New Christians always want to study Revelations, but many of them do not study it carefully to find out what it really says. When you look at Revelation 1:3 it says that “the time is at hand,” and you go all the way to the end, Revelation 22:10, where Jesus says don’t seal up the prophecy of this book, for the prophecy “is at hand.” Those are “bookends,” so to speak, on the entire Revelation, which means that everything had to transpire within the “at hand” scenario. “At hand” simply means it is about to happen. Paul said: “The time of my departure is at hand.” Jesus said, “the time of the passover is at hand.” When we allow the Bible to interpret itself, we have to take a look at the time statement. People constantly use Second Peter to say that the day of the Lord is a thousand years and a thousand years is equal to one day and that God’s time is different from our time. Well, God is outside of time and not a part of time, yet when He communicates to His creation, He does it in a manner that they can understand and that’s vitally important. When we look at the phrase “at hand,” the consequence of that statement, we have to understand, is that Revelation was “at hand.” I knew a television minister driven off the air because he challenged the teachings of “the last days.” You cannot be a bigtime television evangelist unless you go along with these “late great planet earth” teachings. This evangelist told me that Revelation was written prior to 70 A.D. as a warning to the Christians of the day about the tribulations to come. Your video explains this very well. When we look at the book of Revelations, we have to take God’s time statements literally. He says at 1:3 that “the time of Revelation is at hand.” At 22:10 He says that “the time is at hand.” Both the internal evidence of the book itself, and the external evidence, confirms that. The destruction of Jerusalem and the treatment of the early Christians by Roman emperor Nero are things that were such momentous events that if anyone who had written the book of Revelation and not mentioned it, it would make no sense at all. The case is closed. Revelation 17:10 refers to the seven kings and says that five have fallen; one is, and one is yet to come. If you count from Julius Caesar forward and count forward, you get to Nero, so you have number six, who was the one who “is” (at the time) and the one yet to come was Vespacious. For that final 42 months, February of 67 A.D. until September of 70 A.D., that was the tribulation spoken of in the book of Revelation. That is all described in Revelation and in Matthew 24. First John says that the Anti-Christ was present when First John was written. Nero was clearly “anti-Christ.” The Jewish elements that were also “anti-Christ” in their harsh opposition to the teaching that God’s kingdom was already established on earth. Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, not about the physical land of Israel. The reality is the kingdom of God, which was not of this Earth. The new kingdom of God, the new Jerusalem, was a new system that re placed the old system which vanished in 70 A.D. If the Christian world woke up to this truth, you would see the shock waves go around the world. Many good people may ask, “Well, if this is true, why haven’t we heard about it?” I tell them: “I will answer that question if you answer this question: why did it take 1500 years for a man like Martin Luther to come forward saying, ‘the just shall live by faith’ which is what Paul taught in the first century?”


Date:
20 Feb 2004
Time:
10:30:04

Comments

I found this piece to be very amusing. Someone who knows the words exegesis and eisegesis and the difference between them, completly skips over chapter 1 of Is. where the author CLEARLY instructs the READER that as you read this book Rev. Mich , Isreal will "have" or "go by" the name, "heaven and earth". I actually laughed out loud in the office when I read the paragraph on Gen.8. Maybe next time you could add the word "might" to the title of your Article, as in, "Rev.M.D. "might" defend the Orthodox Viewof the Second Coming......." "Might" that is, if we truly know the meaning of "exegesis". And as to the harmony of Paul and Peter I thought I had heard somewhere that it "might" be the Holy Spirit who wrote the WHOLE thing anyway. I "might" be wrong on that though. I suspect we "might" hear from Rev.D again on this "fit it all in the glove" issue again though. Of course it "might" be that Rev.D goes and reads "the PRINCE of the 'Protestant Church'(my twist), John Owen, on 2 Pet.3, and truly comes to grips with "good" exe and eise. At least, stop trying to force the Gospel to fit into the Glove of Orthodoxy, Rev D. Welcome to the Kingdom Rev. D! P.S. Ever read Hebrews 1 ? That Holy Spirit Guy said that ALL sin HAS BEEN purged! Hmmmmm. I wonder what Peter thought though?


Date:
26 Feb 2004
Time:
10:19:51

Comments

There are two senses of the word "new." A "new" heavens and "new" earth could mean, essentially, renewed or "made new," meaning "made like new." Could that be the sense of 2 Pet. 3:13? If so, then it wouldn't be necessary to have in view the complete obliteration of the old and the ex-nihilo creation of something new.


Date:
28 Feb 2004
Time:
20:39:15

Comments

It is time to wake up philosphers, with our "intellectual" arguments and verbage, for Christ wrote to infants and not the world's (biblical) puzzle solvers of high calibre. We must snapout of our pride and admit that we all carry a piece of the kingdom. The devil has trapped us once again, cleverly and in subtle fashion as usual, into bickering with one view verses another, just like the "issue" of free choice and predestination, justification by faith or good works, and on and on: both have elements of truth and error, both are biblically backed by those who choose a side, and those who take one side of a matter such as those above, clearly omit direct biblical truth opposing their "belief." So it is here with the prophecies of Revelation. Generally, here is some truth to consider regarding the matter at hand: The beast of the sea is the world. It tricks you into following its patterns and never building and living in the real world, the hidden world: the kingdom of Heaven, which God has been building since the world began in the midst of all that you see and each true Christian contributes to until it is complete. Despite the fact that John may have clearly warned of Nero, don't get caught up in labeling the heads and horns with men. The simple fact of the coun


Date:
28 Feb 2004
Time:
20:39:25

Comments

It is time to wake up philosphers, with our "intellectual" arguments and verbage, for Christ wrote to infants and not the world's (biblical) puzzle solvers of high calibre. We must snapout of our pride and admit that we all carry a piece of the kingdom. The devil has trapped us once again, cleverly and in subtle fashion as usual, into bickering with one view verses another, just like the "issue" of free choice and predestination, justification by faith or good works, and on and on: both have elements of truth and error, both are biblically backed by those who choose a side, and those who take one side of a matter such as those above, clearly omit direct biblical truth opposing their "belief." So it is here with the prophecies of Revelation. Generally, here is some truth to consider regarding the matter at hand: The beast of the sea is the world. It tricks you into following its patterns and never building and living in the real world, the hidden world: the kingdom of Heaven, which God has been building since the world began in the midst of all that you see and each true Christian contributes to until it is complete. Despite the fact that John may have clearly warned of Nero, don't get caught up in labeling the heads and horns with men. The simple fact of the coun


Date:
01 Mar 2004
Time:
21:47:20

Comments

I support what Rev. Mitchell writes and find your preteristic interpretation of scripture oddly interesting. I do wonder, though, what your views are on the rapture of Christ's church that are without question described in Revelation. How do you explain the disappearance of human beings on Earth? When did this happen in 70 A.D.? I have yet to find this topic discussed on this site to support preterism. Don't you think this is a rather important subject to cover? If you plan to attack another for skipping over parts in the Bible, you should at least refrain from doing this yourself.


Date:
10 Mar 2004
Time:
22:24:37

Comments

Rapture? Where is that word found in the Bible? Did "scholars" invent this? The reason this topic isn't addressed here is that Preterist don't believe in a rapture of this sort. I once believed as you did as well however, if you really try to tie the OT and NT together you will hit some walls. Check out the history of millennial movements that will help. http://www.presence.tv/cms/christianhope_clouse.shtml However, before I am tempted to use long or difficult Theological terms let me give you some things to think about. If the world is to be destroyed why would Jesus tell people to run and hide in that day? What is the purpose of new physical bodies out of graves and why would we need to leave our superior spiritual bodies to then go back to the grave to be raised in physical bodies and called up into the air? Is this really making any sense to you? It only did to me because that is what I was told to believe. You see the wonderful thing about believing that Christ was victorious the first time was that you now have only one thing to worry about. If you love him keep his commandments. The greatest of these is to love thy neighbor. Although I find all types of subject matters about the Bible fascinating, I can't let it keep me from simply getting out there and loving people that don't read these comments. There are really good reasons why all of this is important because it will shape how your approach to the world. However, do not let obsession take you to the point that you hate your neighbor because or their views. I have read many websites where the commandment of LOVE is not being obeyed. So do these people really love God if they do not keep his commandments? You know the Atheist and Agnostics are loving this stuff. Arguments about the Bible and what scripture really meant go all the way back to A.D.70 so it isn't surprising that we are still working on it. We are the early church. Remember it was 1500 years before Martin Luther spoke out. I'm sure you will feel more comfortable with these types of debates once you explore the history of the church in depth. Indeed if you find 2 scholars that agree on everything you are privileged to a rare event. I don't think your comment about Preterist skipping over the Bible is fair. This forum is not to defend Preterism entirely. I can promise you that there are probably several ways to answer your questions on the rapture and the interpretation of Revelation. I must also tell you that the in the last days when darkness covers the earth and the earth shakes and the dead rise, all happened when Christ died. So there is your physical resurrection if you will. This description is only found in one Gospel and I have yet to see it addressed. This is what made me think that the last days where already upon that generation. Preterists spiritualize all of this but my brother it did happen. We should all appreciate the gymnastics of Rev. Mitchell because it is good to see why the futurist views are still held to so tightly. Rev. Mitchell however sees the Preterist as reading into scripture what they want to see. Let he who is not guilty of this cast the first criticism. Try as we might to let the scripture speak for itself we all will still see things differently. To me that is one of the marvelous mysteries of the author of the Bible. I’m okay with this as long as the plan of salvation is understood plainly. I choose the path of the transmillennialst and you know something, if I’m wrong. I think God will understand. After all what happens to all those souls raised Muslim or Hindu? I know what they should believe about Christ, and we should preach the gospel but ultimately it is in God’s hands. After all Christians are not rushing out to learn these religions. Some do but honestly we have enough differences of our own to worry about. Don’t we? If Christ was here now what religion would he be? What Church would he attend? Mine? Yours? Another? What would he think of our legalistic arguments? How did he feel about the law in his time? Keeping the Sabbath? Doctrine and Tradition are important, but possibly their import should lie with each individual as they see it in their heart. What a man thinks in his heart is what he is. So, if we all feel that we are obeying the will of the father with all our hearts where do the religions of the world stand? “Seek and Ye Shall Find”? I’ve just got to believe that there is at least one person in every Christian religion truly and sincerely seeking and yet finding they are satisfied in their religion. Was every Church in Asia the same? Did they all worship the same? Considering their cultural diversity I would think not. So how do we deal with these differences? This is a much harder question than that of any millennial view, is it not? I leave you with the words of Martin Luther when giving advice to a friend struggling with what to believe. “Sin Boldly” You see you are the PASSION of Christ and he really wants you to concentrate on Love. Why? Because “God Is Love” and when you love your neighbor you will see God as you look upon them through His eyes. Incidentally, I am very thankful to the Lord for spell check and apologize for any grammatical or spelling errors. After all I am just a simple lay person, but through Christ I share an equal inheritance as a brother of Jesus and a child of the Living God. Gotta Love It! God Bless all of us on our journeys!


Date:
21 May 2004
Time:
17:29:33

Comments

I believe the Olivet discourse related in Matt. 23:XX to Matt. 24:34 refers exclusively to the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem. The discourse is bookended by the statements that all these things would be fulfilled (filled to the full)within the lifetime of the generation of those alive at the time that Jesus made this prophecy. Gary Demar has done an excellent exegesis of these passages. That makes me at least a partial preterist. I'm not so sure about the passages in Peter. There seems to be admonitions to good works connected to Christ's return which would not only apply to Christians living ca 70 AD but also to those living anywhere between 70 AD and the time of Christ's return in glory to inaugurate the new heaven & earth and the final judgement. Here I would concur with Rev. Dick. One can go partial preterist and still remain amil. See Jay Adams' fine book "The Time is at Hand" Jim Verkade


Date: 02 Feb 2009
Time: 19:17:26

Your Comments:

The Pastor failed to take note of the context of Is 65-the making of a new people i.e. His true servants v 13-16/18.

It is significant that Paul quotes from 65 v 1 in Romans in reference to the Gentiles a new people who seek after the LORD and also from v 17 in speaking of the new creature/humankind in 2 Cor 5:17! Paul's "old things passing away and new things having come, parallels Isaiah's "former things not being remembered." NO literal heaven and earth is being referenced.

I would ask the Pastor to stop teaching a contradiction: In Is 11 it says Lions will be in the kingdom, but in Is 35 it says that "there will be no lion there." If this is taken in a strict literal sense it leads to a contradiction!

Therefore we are driven to understand Isaiah is using metaphors.
 

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